Access to employment and training for people with disabilities must
Frances Fitzgerald TD and Fine Gael MEP candidate for Dublin today said that employment and training for persons with disabilities must be a key priority as part of the European Commission’s future initiatives on employment.
“The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 aims to significantly increase the number of people with disabilities in employment. While progress has been made through initiatives both at EU and national level, the overall percentage of persons with disabilities in employment remains very low.
“We must make it easier for persons with disabilities to enter the workforce. Employment and social inclusion go hand-in-hand and it is of key importance to persons with disabilities that they can participate fully in society, through education, through communities, but also through employment.
“Ensuring that persons with disabilities can find quality jobs that are adaptable to their needs is at the core of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the new European Social Fund+ coming into effect in 2021. However this goal must also be actively monitored through a new European Disability Strategy post-2020. If elected, I will be strongly advocating for the creation of a renewed strategy, in consultation with stakeholders.
“Of course any new strategy must have the budgetary backing to make it a reality. I believe that the European Social Fund+ must have key targets for the employment of persons with disabilities when measuring its progress. Such budgetary allocations must be spent by governments in working with both the public and private sector to make accessibility to the workforce easier for persons with disabilities.
“If we are to build a Europe that values social progress as well as economic success, full inclusion of persons with disabilities in society, particularly through employment, is imperative.